Davidyan came to Armenia 21 years ago expecting
to finish study at Yerevan Medical University
then return to Allepo.
It is neither the time lived here, nor his reason
for coming that has made Davidyan one of the country's
recognizable minor celebrities.
Rather, far from his training as a psychiatrist,
Davidyan is widely known as the host of "Bon
Appetite" a twice-weekly 20-minute television
show about cooking.
In a society where men hardly visit their own
kitchens, the 41-year Davidyan is seen as something
of a cooking guru. He is also a popular DJ on
Hay FM, where he started working nine years ago.
"Music is the my favorite obsession and
correspondingly I got involved with the work on
radio with great love," says the DJ.
With a visit by popular singer Shushan Petroysan,
"Bon Appetite" debuted on public television
in March 2000.
"In the beginning I was thinking that the
program would have a small audience as it was
culinary. Many people used to criticize saying
that how can one talk about different dishes in
such hard social conditions," says Davidyan.
"But the result was different. People used
to stop me in the streets and ask for recipes
of different dishes."
show is sponsored by Coca-Cola, as is evidence
in the many strategically placed insignias throughout
the studio kitchen, and not the least of which
is the "Coca-Cola" apron spread over
Davidyan's considerable girth.
"Bon Appetite" has become popular not
just for its topic and its unique place in Armenian
television, but because it has become a frequent
visiting place of actors, singers, sportsmen.
"Our goal is to show how famous people work
in the kitchen," says Davidyan.
During the program a guest presents a recipe,
then helps the host prepare it. In cases in which
the guest doesn't have a favorite dish, one is
provided by Davidyan.
"This program made me rich with all kinds
of culinary secrets that my guests tell me during
the program. If a guest is a culinary expert then,
of course, I learn many things," says Davidyan.
And in general there is a big difference between
the kitchen proficiency of his male and female
guests. Men, who often have little kitchen experience
tend to talk about general issues on the show.
Women are more likely to address the topic at
And who offers more interesting and delicious
"Sometimes it happens when men offer unique
receipts. Movie director Gevorgyan surprised us.
He wrapped fish in fish's scale and prepared tolma.
It was beautiful and exotic."
In its turn the program often surprises its viewers,
especially when men, who usually consider that
the kitchen is not their place, appear on the
screen wearing aprons.
men prefer to eat at their homes dishes prepared
by their wives or mothers and probably they don't
have time. However, there is also an idea of the
ethnic approach. You can often hear them saying,
'as if I have nothing else to do but cooking!'
" says Davidyan.
Recently Davidyan hosted ethnographer Hranush
Kharatyan, who prepared a dish suitable for the
days of Armenian lent.
"We prepared mokhokh. You must add yeast-leavened
dough to well-boiled grits," Davidyan says.
"After it is cooled you can eat it during
the whole fasting. It is not tasty at all. Only
men must boil it as women are not allowed to do
that. During preparing mokhokh special songs and
dances are sung and danced."
At the show's conclusion the host and guest sample
"I let my guest feel free in the kitchen.
Many people feel shy in front of the cameras.
Sometimes it happens when people cannot cook as
they talk or vice versa," mentions Davidyan.
Davidyan himself is frank and sincere both on
radio and on TV.
never warm to a role. The secret of a program's
success lies in frankness of the showman,"
he says. "The profession of the psychiatrist
helps me as well. I understand people pretty quickly.
I understand them from the tone of their voice
and their facial gesture."
The fact that DJ Sedrak is famous causes several
problems for him as well.
"Famous people always feel good. But often
you want to be unnoticed. People often ask in
the streets joking, 'what are we gonna eat today?'.
I've given up going to markets. As soon as I enter
a market people invite me to buy their products
and, of course, with more expensive prices,"